The NFL, the league that never sleeps, had more major news come out this week. The NFL adopted new pass interference rules, the Philadelphia Eagles made a massive move, and Raiders coach Jon Gruden continued to show why he can’t yet shed the genius label. Check out the March 29, NFL Update!
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NFL Updates of the Week – March 29th Edition
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 29, 2019
New Pass Interference Rules Means Red Flags Will Fly
After a ton of blowback, the NFL decided to go ahead and adopt new NFL pass interference rules that allows coaches to throw the red flag even in instances where no pas interference was called. Just a week or so ago, the NFL said that coaches could throw the red flag but only in instances where pass interference was called.
Why a change of heart? Two reasons. First, the league knows that a Saints-Patriots Super Bowl would have been much better than the snore-fest Super Bowl the Rams and Patriots played in February. If Sean Payton had a chance to throw the red flag, the Saints probably would have beaten the Rams. That would have made a much more successful Vince Lombardi game.
Second, the NFL received a lot of blowback because of the first reason. What good would the new rule have done if Payton hadn’t been able to throw the red flag because no yellow flag had been thrown in the first place?
Of course, the new rule means we should expect a lot of red flags all over the place come September. Allowing coaches to throw a red flag even if there’s no pass interference is called a recipe to turn a 3 ½ hour game into a 4 ½ hour game.
Philadelphia Eagles Get an “A” Running Back
The Eagles traded a sixth round pick that could be upgraded to a fifth round pick for Chicago Bears’ running back Jordan Howard. Two seasons ago, Howard was one of the best running backs in the NFL. He produced numbers that made him the envy of fantasy football managers all over the country.
But last season, Howard struggled to make an impact because he played in Matt Nagy’s offensive system that relies on more of pass-catching back than a traditional running back like Howard. With the Eagles, Howard could become the stunning runner he had been since his rookie season.
Howard also makes the Eagles a real Super Bowl contender. The defensive line remains tough while Carson Wentz should be one-hundred percent healthy and he’s going to love slinging the ball to Desean Jackson.
For teams on the cusp, simple moves are all it takes for them to make it to the Super Bowl. The Eagles just made one this week.
Genius Gruden Continues Raiders’ Magical Offseason
The Raiders own the 4th, 24th, and 27th picks in Round 1 of this April’s NFL Draft. The soon to be Vegas Raiders already had leverage heading into the draft with those three Round 1 picks. They’ve got even more leverage now after making more smart moves again this week.
Jon Gruden’s genius mind led him to running back Isaiah Crowell and linebacker Brandon Marshall. The Raiders signed both this week. Crowell will excel spelling Marshawn Lynch, or taking over for Marshawn Lynch if Beast Mode decides to retire again. Marshall is a top linebacker when healthy.
Gruden’s put together an AFC West contender without having to use those three Round 1 picks. That’s close to amazing. So, now, Jon’s got the best wide receiver in the NFL in Antonio Brown, a great complement WR in Tyrell Williams, a tough running back in Isaiah Crowell, and two of the better linebackers in the NFL when both are healthy in Vontaze Burfict and Brandon Marshall.
Oh, yes, he also signed away last year’s Rams’ starting free safety LaMarcus Joyner. Amazing that Gruden did all that, especially trading for AB, without having to give up one of his round one picks.
Get Ready for the NFL Draft
April isn’t just Easter Month. It’s also NFL Draft Month, which means our in depth look at the 2019 NFL Draft starts next week! In the meantime, think about what you would do if you were the Arizona Cardinals. Do you draft Kyler Murray? Do you package the first pick? Or, do you go with Ohio State DE Nick Bosa?
Have a great week!